Ouya wants to give you unlimited access to all of its games if you have $60.
The Android microconsole company is now selling an All-Access Pass for its Discover app store. People who buy the pass, which is $60, will get access to every Ouya game for a year. The company claims this includes over 800 games at a value of more than $2,000. You can get it now from Ouya’s online store and use it immediately to download any game for the system. That includes the four-player fighting game Towerfall, which is the system’s biggest hit, and developer Double Fine’s Kickstarter adventure Broken Age.
Ouya’s site notes that the All-Access Pass is only on sale for a limited time. It also claims that it will only sell a finite amount. We reached out to the company, and a spokesperson explained it is a trial.
“OUYA All-Access is a pilot subscription program we’re offering to new and existing OUYA users for a limited time only,” an Ouya spokesperson said in a statement provided to GamesBeat. “For the price of one console game, players receive access to the entire OUYA catalog of more than 800 titles, for a full year. It’s just one of many things we’re exploring to give players the best value, and developers the best visibility. Results of this test will dictate if and how we proceed with an official subscription program.”
Premium Ouya games range in price from $1 to $20. The aforementioned Towerfall sells for $15 on Ouya Discover, so you could easily spend $60 on just a few Ouya games, so this is potentially a pretty good deal — as long as you remember to actually play the games you download.
Of course, Ouya also has a number of free-to-play games with in-game purchases. These kinds of things include level packs or powerful items. While the $60 pass will unlock premium games, you’ll still have to pay for extra downloadable content.
Following the revelation of the program, some developers with Ouya games are wondering how the company is introducing a program like this without talking to them first.
If I sold anything on Ouya, I'd be pretty pissed off right now. Don't give away my games without my permission with _any_ pay model.
— Mike Bithell @ DICE (@mikeBithell) June 30, 2014
This is Ouya’s latest attempt to shake things up and attract gamers to its platform. The system first attracted attention in July 2012 with a Kickstarter campaign that was looking to raise $950,000 for an Android console that works on a television. More than 60,000 people ended up contributing nearly $8.6 million to the project.
In July 2013, the system finally went on sale (read our review), and it has struggled to maintain its early momentum. While gamers were excited about a small, inexpensive gaming box (it sells for $100), this buzz didn’t translate into game sales. Developers expressed frustration early on that their Ouya games weren’t performing well at all. This has left the company trying to find new ways to keep gamers and game makers happy.
In November, Sony and Microsoft launched their new-gen consoles, which quickly overshadowed the Ouya. Now, the microconsole is also facing competition from larger competitors like Amazon with the Fire TV and Google with the Android TV platform. This has Ouya fighting in a secondary console war that not many people care about.